Livestock Lingo

This was going to be about our cattle operation, what, how and why we do what we do.  However, it occurred to me that I would be using terms that may not be familiar to everyone. To ensure that we are all on the same page (metaphorically speaking), I offer the following Livestock Lingo:

Cow:  A female that has had at least one calf.

Bull:  (1) A male or (2) a story or statement that is filled with misstatements, falsehoods or exaggeration.  Commonly used in responding to political statements (“He is full of bull…”) Note: there will be no bull in the Cattle Tales.

Calf:  The young or offspring of a cow. (pl. calves)

Heifer:  A female, before she has had her first calf.

Steer:  A castrated bull

Yearling:  A calf that is about a year old.  A short yearling is little less than a year old; a long yearling is little over a year.

Stocker:  A calf after it was been weaned; also called a weaned calf.

Run: This term is used in the context of raising, managing or owning cattle such as “Fred is running cows in Thurston County”  This does not mean that I chase  the cows around  the fields to make them run.  Where this term comes from I have no idea, but it is very commonly used.

Calving Season:  Most ranchers have a predetermined time that they want their calves to be born, such as “middle of March through the end of April”; this is called the calving season.

With this background, the following hypothetical paragraph should be understandable:

“During calving season, he runs his cows in the south pasture.  Today he had three calves- one bull and two heifers.  He is hoping for a good price in the fall on the stockers, but if not, he will keep the steers to sell as yearlings.”

When’s the beef?- this spring!

We are now taking orders for our grass fed beef, which will be ready in April or May, depending on grass growth, weather, and all those other variables.  If you are interested, it would be good to get an order in now to reserve your beef.  I can email you our order form so if you are interested, just replay to this email.

Feb 2, 2008

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